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Photograph: Giuseppe Liverino, courtesy of Copenhagen Media Center

These are officially the coolest neighbourhoods in Europe

We polled 27,000 city-dwellers and asked local experts to rank the best districts across the continent

Sophie Dickinson
Written by
Sophie Dickinson

Europe’s cities have had a tough couple of years. But while the day-to-day lives of all city-dwellers have been upended, in the very best kind of neighbourhoods, community spirit has thrived.

We wanted to spotlight these places, so took the results of our annual Time Out Index survey (which this year polled 27,000 city-dwellers about where they live and what they do there) to our local editors and contributors. They then vetted the public vote against certain criteria – cool stuff, but also kind stuff, forward-looking stuff – and made their final picks. Our panel of experts then ranked the lot.

Number one on the global list – and by extension, the coolest in Europe, too – is Nørrebro in Copenhagen. With its cutting-edge restaurants and surfeit of vintage stores, it may seem like an obvious choice. But our local expert pointed out that Nørrebro is also known for its diversity and inclusivity: it’s where the city’s Pride march kicks off, and where protests tend to take place too.

Next on the list is Leith, in Edinburgh, where you’ll find all manner of cool art spaces in old dockyards and railway arches. Third coolest in Europe was the Station District in Vilnius: a fast-regenerating area packed with next-level nightlife and amazing restaurants serving everything from sushi to Uzbek food. The station itself is a getting a Zaha Hadid glow-up, which has proved a little controv for Soviet architecture buffs.

At number four in Europe is XI District in Budapest, which is famed for its green spaces and boho riverside bars. And fifth was Neukölln, ousting Wedding as Berlin’s coolest neighbourhood for 2021.

Here’s the full list of the coolest neighbourhoods in Europe according to us: 

1. Nørrebro, Copenhagen
2. Leith, Edinburgh
3. Station District, Vilnius
4. XI District, Budapest
5. Neukölln, Berlin
6. Dalston, London
7. Dublin 8, Dublin
8. Zoloti Vorota, Kyiv
9. Noord, Amsterdam
10. Ancoats, Manchester
11. Sagene, Oslo
12. Gràcia, Barcelona
13. Kemptown, Brighton
14. Ouseburn, Newcastle
15. Chamberí, Madrid
16. Vinohrady, Prague
17. Anjos, Lisbon
18. Haut-Marais, Paris
19. Foz, Porto 

Want to know where else made the cut? Now read our full ranking of the coolest neighbourhoods in the world for 2021. 

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